Oman tourism: Plan for tourist office at historic Muttrah Souq

Oman Saturday 07/January/2017 21:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman tourism: Plan for tourist office at historic Muttrah Souq

Muscat: A tourist office will be set up at Muttrah Souq, visited by thousands of tourists every year, a senior official of the Muscat Municipality said on Thursday.
Dr Ibrahim Al Rahbi, Director General of Muscat Municipality at Greater Muttrah, said search is on for a place near the souq to set up the tourist office.
“As it is an old and congested area, the municipality is finding it tough to find a place for a new office. Till a final decision is taken, we will open a portable tourist office in the next couple of months,” he said.
There is a tourist office in Port Sultan Qaboos in Muttrah where the cruise liners arrive. “However, a second tourist office is needed as planned at the Muttrah souq,” Dr Al Rahbi told the Times
of Oman.
According to the plan, the temporary tourist office will be set up near the entrance of the souq where visitors will be able to obtain maps and information about Oman and its historic attractions. The officials at the tourist office will offer any help sought by tourists visiting Oman.
Welcoming the news, citizens and residents said: “It is a good move as the new office will help promote Oman’s tourism
sector, both regionally and internationally.”
Plans are also afoot to deploy security guards at the historic Muttrah Souq and put in place a revamped fire safety plan for the 200-year-old market by
early 2017.
Besides ensuring the safety of tourists, the presence of security guards will induce a sense of security among the shopkeepers.
“This is important, especially after a gang robbed 37kgs of gold worth OMR1.4m from a jewellery shop in the Souq in August 2016,” a shopkeeper said.
Mohammed, a Bangladeshi trader working at a jewellery shop, said, “The souq had recently witnessed a number of fire accidents. The fire safety plan will definitely help us in securing
our shops.”
Officials stated that all these steps will be taken in order to raise the living standards of the residents of Muttrah without disturbing the historical and cultural identity of the city.